A New Paper

Found the following paper recently:

Bringing direct democracy in a representative assembly: The case of allotted MPs
by Filimon Peonidis
http://www.demokrati.uio.no/arrangementer/konferanser/2010/Peonidis-AllotedMPs-2009.pdf

Gotta love google alerts. I shall try and post some thoughts on the paper soon.

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2 Responses

  1. The idea of letting each citizen choose whether they want to be represented by election or by lottery is attractive. First, it provides a way to gauge public support for sortition. Secondly, as the author suggests, doing so would eliminate many of the possible objections to the legitimacy of sortition: it is hard to object to providing an additional alternative for those people who are disenchanted with electoral politics in general or simply feel that they have no good choice at on a particular election cycle.

    One drawback of the scheme, however, is the likelihood that the elected officials, through their long tenures and organizational support, would become more powerful than the alloted officials, creating severely unequal distribution of power within the parliament.

    A somewhat similar idea would be to have a fully allotted parliament but allowing alloted people to transfer their seats to whoever they choose to – this way people who prefer to be represented by professionals can choose their favorite professional as their substitute.

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  2. I am very sceptical of all proposals to start with sortition at the top. One would need to be very desperate to commit one’s vote on all the issues that are at present decided at parliamentary level to an individual about whom one knows nothing rather than somebody who at least has some commitments. The point of demarchy is that we would rationally commit the decisions about a particular institution or activity to a group who constituted a representative sample of the interests most substantially affected by those decisions, hoping that they would be focused on getting the most constructive outcome for the conflicting interests involved. That is the sort of thing that is well within the capacities of most citizens
    Higher level decisions should be made by committees selected by lot from a pool of those who have demonstrated their abilities and dedication to their peers on the lower level.
    What people must have are good decisions and a fair opportunity to participate, but egalitarianism must not ignore ability and interest.

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